‘We will have a target on our backs’... says new Stowmarket Town signing Tom Bullard
New Stowmarket Town man Tom Bullard says he expects there to be ‘huge pressure’ on the Thurlow Nunn Premier division side next season.
The Old Gold and Blacks have made a big statement in recent weeks, with the signings of former Leiston defenders Bullard and Joe Jefford, as well as Felixstowe & Walton's Jack Ainsley.
And while Bullard, 32, is relishing the challenge, he knows it will be tough.
"I'm really looking forward to it, good club, ambitious club, but personally I think we will be under a huge amount of pressure," he said.
"We will have a target on our backs.
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"But there are lots of experienced players at Stowmarket next season, as well as some good youngsters, so we ought to be able to cope."
Rick Andrews' Stowmarket side having been knocking on the door of promotion from Step 5 for a couple of seasons and will be hoping a summer of signings that also includes midfielder Dave Cowling and 'keeper James Bradbrook will unlock the key.
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Bullard admits he spoke to a few Step 4 clubs before deciding on Stowmarket.
"It was a massive decision for me to leave Leiston," he said.
"I've always said I want to play as high as I can for as long as I can, and in some ways I'm sad I haven't quite done that.
"But with a young family and a business to run, the commitment for a club like Leiston at the level they play, is huge.
"In saying that, Stow have real ambition to go up the pyramid, get promotion to Step 4. Rick Andrews impressed me and the club impressed me."
Bullard links up again with Jefford, the two having been a centre-back unit that played more than 600 games for Leiston.
"I must admit I thought my playing days were over playing with JJ," he said. "And Stow only came in for me a week or so ago, so it's all happened quickly."
Bullard has signed a one year deal, with one year option at Greens Meadow and the former Leiston skipper had this to say about his former club.
"I had a great five years there. Good people, good club. It's transition time for them at the moment which they will come through. They have some great young players."
Meanwhile Mark Willis has stepped down as manager of Kirkley and Pakefield after three years at the helm. Mark will be pursuing an opportunity in Dubai as he joins City Football Club as their academy manager.
Also, Whitton United have signed Ethan Clarke from Felixstowe & Walton and Remi Garrett from Stowmarket as Greens' boss Shane Coldron adds experience to his young squad.